Advertisers warn Facebook that Home ads must not annoy users
Advertisers warned Facebook today that its Home application needs to avoid irritating users with its adverts.
"Invasive, tedious or over-frequent marketing in such a personal space will be an instant switch-off for Home users,” Angus Wood from iProspect, a digital marketing agency, said.
“Facebook are unlocking a vast amount of consumers' time. But alongside that, the closer you come to the consumer, the softer you need to tread, and the bar for content quality will be higher than ever,” Mr Wood added.
The Cover Feed on Facebook Home will not display advertising on April 12 when it becomes available, but future versions will carry adverts.
Analysts were also asking whether Facebook would be able to gather too much personal data about users from Home.
“Facebook Home should put privacy advocates on alert, for this application erodes any idea of privacy,” Om Malik, founder of GigaOM, a technology news website, said.
He noted that smartphones would be able to send GPS data to Facebook, potentially telling the social media giant where the phone, and likely its owner, is at any time.
“So if your phone doesn’t move from a single location between the hours of 10 pm and 6 am for say a week or so, Facebook can quickly deduce the location of your home,” he said.
“We need to ask our legislative representatives to understand that Facebook wants to go from our desktops and browsers right into our home — the place where we need to be private,” he wrote.
Mark Zuckerberg unveiled Facebook Home at a press conference in California last night.
The expected partnership with HTC was also confirmed as the smartphone manufacturer launched the HTC First, which will have Home built in.
“Our phones are designed around apps, not people. We want to flip that around,” Mr Zuckerberg said.
He introduced “Chat Heads”, a "layer" feature that would allow users to read and send Facebook and text messages without needing to switch back to Home.
Facebook Home will be available to install on other Android devices such as the HTC One X and Samsung Galaxy S3 from April 12 in the US.
It will be available worldwide “in the coming weeks”.
The HTC First will be available on EE in Britain from this summer.